'Relentless' Heat Wave Will Cause Soaring Temperatures In The U.S. For Weeks, Forecasters Predict

Aaron Homer

A massive heat wave is likely to broil parts of the United States for at least the next week, resulting in record-breaking weather extremes in some cities, CBS News reported.

Already, the heat wave is bedeviling parts of the South and the lower Great Plains, with predictions that some cities will see temperatures topping 110 degrees.

Amarillo, Texas, for example, is looking at 10 consecutive days of 100-plus degree temperatures, and some days it may even exceed 110 degrees. That's 20 degrees higher than its average for this time of year, which is 92.

Elsewhere in the Texas-Oklahoma region, most of the area will see the mercury crack 100 degrees on Saturday, with the Red River Valley area of northwest Texas and southwest Oklahoma looking at temperatures exceeding 110. When humidity is factored into the equation, even the cities with comparatively "cooler" weather can expect "feels-like" temperatures of 110 or more.

Further west, the National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for inland Southern California, southern Nevada, and the southern half of Arizona from Saturday through Monday. Phoenix, for example, is expected to see the thermometer reach 116 degrees on Saturday -- the all-time high temperature in the city is 120 degrees.

However, the misery won't be limited to the southern half of the country, as over the coming days, the weather phenomenon causing the excessive heat is expected to move into the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic. Forecasters predict that as many as 75 cities will break temperature records between now and next Tuesday.

For example, parts of Kansas and Oklahoma can expect to see temperatures of 115 degrees by Tuesday.

When all is said and done, more than 80 percent of the country — 265 million people — will endure high temperatures above 90 degrees within the next week. Another 45 million will see temperatures cracking the triple digits.

"The heat wave will be very long-lived, lasting multiple weeks in some areas with only a few days of near-normal temperatures during that span. This will increase the odds of heat illness and heat-related deaths," said Jeff Masters, Ph.D., founder of the popular site Weather Underground.

What's worse, this heat wave is apparently here to stay.

The problem is that a so-called "heat dome" has cropped up over the U.S. The phenomenon is caused when a sprawling mass of high pressure brings hot and dry conditions, and a big "dome" of air builds and expands.

These weather systems can last for weeks. Indeed, the current one is expected to last at least through the end of July.